Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Marketing In the Caribbean


We Are Still Babes In The Proverbial Online Woods

Nations, like men, have their infancy.
Henry Bolingbroke

Without a doubt the intellectual level of people in the aggregate living in Trinidad and Tobago is comparable and may surpass that of more developed countries. This intelligence has transferred itself to the Internet even though the growth of internet users in this country is small, (22-30%), we still have a solid presence. But we do have our weaknesses.

Site content is important but ultimately it has to support a business model that generates leads, conversions, some type of free subscription to a newsletter, announcement list or anything that can be perceived by the visitor as valuable.
It makes absolutely no sense to buy, push or beg for traffic and not have a mechanism in place to capture visitor information.

No business site should be online without a request for visitors’ information. This is important so let’s repeat it; every business web site must have a strategy to capture visitors information. If you have a site now that does have one, revisit it and consider the purpose.

Even with the right target market only a few would eventually convert to sales. It is a filtering process that seeks only the people who are interested enough to take an action,

Let us take a look at one of the better known web sites in Trinidad and Tobago, The Trinidad Express Newspaper online. (A friend of mine once told me that I should never mention names because I could be sued.) Is that really possible?
Ok, the Express needs no introduction in T&T.

But it’s not the Express Newspaper site we will look at. It is a subsidiary site; ReachCaribbean.com CCN, their advertising arm.

Take a minute and look at the site and their unique selling proposition “The Premium Media Hub For Advertising In the Caribbean”. And a head line that reads “Reach over 6 million new customers easier than ever before… One place, On Currency, One System.

ReachCaribbean mission is to provide the advertisers with a regional reach connections in every island in the Caribbean and Guyana. Their advertising resources include newspaper, radio, TV, magazines and web advertising.

They cover islands from Jamaica to Trinidad and Guyana with a market of approximately 6.9 million people of which 5.5 million are adults and a GNP per capita of $3500 to $36,000 USD and the age range of 15-64 numbering 4.2 million people.

It did not say how many of these people are online and the Web advertising link only provides links to other Caribbean newspapers.

In all fairness, they did provide an explanation on their “About us” page. The reason they gave is valid because there is a peculiarity of Caribbean culture with respect to sharing business information. In their words:

“The task of obtaining information on the Caribbean is a difficult one. We will be the first to confirm that to you. The region's business culture does not encourage the sharing of sales information, consumer insights and advertising spend.

Why? For one, most of the companies invest great sums of money privately to obtain research to either confirm their hypotheses about their target market or to find out new insights into their lifestyles today.

So to put it in a nutshell information reports like the TOP 100 advertisers of the Caribbean and the biggest earners of the year are just not published and updated annually. ReachCaribbean hopes to influence this practice in years to come.“


Agree with it or not, this is the environment in which we operate.

Tomorrow we will step inside the ReachCaribbean web site and examine their online business assumptions, model and strategy.

Check the post out tomorrow.

We are still seeking responses to the Fan Survey, it only takes two minutes.

Be well.

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